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Prior to joining Media Matters for America, M.J. Rosenberg, the anti-Fox News group’s embattled senior fellow, worked for a progressive Mideast policy organization that shares the same top donor as Media Matters.
Rosenberg is known for his extreme anti-Israel views.
He came under fire after liberal Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz pledged to personally make the Media Matters controversy into an election issue for President Obama unless the media attack group fires Rosenberg or Obama distances himself from Media Matters.
A series of reports has exposed the embattled Media Matters’ alleged illicit tactics, including compiling a de facto enemies list; announcing an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” aimed at the Fox News Channel; and reportedly seeking to investigate the personal lives of reporters and news personalities.
The information came amid reports White House staffers held regular meetings and even a weekly conference call with Media Matters.
Now a WND review of finances has found that Rosenberg’s former employer shares the same top donor as Media Matters.
WND previously reported the George Soros-funded Tides Foundation is the single biggest donor to Media Matters, providing a total of $4.1 million to the media attack group during the fiscal years of 2004 through 2009.
Tides is also a prominent donor to the Israel Policy Forum, where Rosenberg worked as director of policy analysis until switching in 2009 to the Media Matters Action Network, the anti-Fox group’s affiliated progressive lobby
Rosenberg was by far the loudest voice at the Israel Policy Forum, a tiny New York-based organization that largely disappeared from the public debate after Rosenberg departed.
WND found the Tides Foundation provided the Israel Policy Forum with $35,500 in 2004; $27,000 in 2005 and $26,000 in 2006. Smaller grants of $1,000 in 2007 and $500 in 2008 were provided, as well.
Rosenberg previously explained why Media Matters hired him.
“Until I got there [Media Matters] had nothing on foreign policy. They hired me specifically to be involved with this issue, with the Palestinian issue, with [the issue of] stopping the war with Iran.”
Anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi websites
Rosenberg has long held controversial views. His writings are routinely found on anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi websites. He doubles as a columnist with both the Huffington Post and Al Jazeera’s English website.
Rosenberg has been pushing the phrase “Israel Firster,” implying those who support the Jewish state put Israel’s needs before those of the U.S.
He has called Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu a “terrorist” and Israel’s President Shimon Peres an “uberhawk on Iran” who has “undermined” Obama.
He has denied that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ever threatened to wipe Israel off the map, suggesting it was a mistranslation despite similar rhetoric being regularly repeated by top Iranian officials.
Rosenberg has compared the violence of terrorist-supporting anti-Israel activists on recent Gaza flotillas with “civil rights demonstrators who sat down at segregated lunch counters through the south.”
He recently defended reporter Helen Thomas against charges of anti-Semitism for saying the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” while he criticized Obama for “diss[ing] her,” calling instead for Thomas to be “salute[d].”
Media Matters tied to MoveOn.org, ACORN
Tides, meanwhile, is a controversial far-left clearinghouse that funds groups such as MoveOn.org, ACORN and a litany of anti-war organizations.
The Tides Foundation is funded in part by Soros, himself a prominent Media Matters donor via his Open Society Institute.
Tides functions as a money tunnel in which major leftist donors provide large sums that are channeled to hundreds of radical groups.
Tides documentation reviewed by WND shows the group provided a total of $4.1 million to Media Matters during the fiscal years of 2004-2009.
During that same time period, Tides provided an additional $110,000 to the Media Matters Action Network.
The Tides Foundation funding to Media Matters was most significant during the progressive news organization’s startup year in 2004, when Tides granted it $2.2 million.
In 2005, Tides sent another $1.1 million to Media Matters.
The years 2006 and 2007 saw smaller Tides donations of $56,223 and $38,225 respectively.
In 2008, a significant Tides donation of $659,500 came in to Media Matters, with another $106,038 in 2009.
In 2010, the Tides Center expressed public support for Media Matters when the media group stepped up its activism against Fox News by posting a Web page dedicated to anti-Fox material along with an online petition that pressed Fox’s advertisers to “Drop Fox.” At the time, Tides chief executive and founder, Drummond Pike, endorsed Media Matters’ campaign.
Media Matters already admitted to taking $1 million directly from Soros. The billionaire has donated more than $7 million to Tides over the years.
Now the revelation of Tides donations to Media Matters may raise more questions about the partiality of media group. Tides is one of the biggest financial backers of progressive and radical left groups in the U.S.
For example, Tides is a primary funder to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, and is closely tied to the group implicated in voter fraud. The Tides Center’s board chairman is Wade Rathke, ACORN’s founder and chief organizer.
Tides also is a primary funder to MoveOn.org, the American Civil Liberties Union, Campaign for America’s Future; the Center for American Progress; the Center for Community Change; the socialist-leaning Democracy Now!; the Marxist-founded Free Press; and Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies.
Tides has been closely linked to Occupy since the anti-Wall Street movement’s inception. The Tides-funded Adbusters magazine is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after Arab Spring protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. The Adbusters website serves as a central hub for Occupy’s planning.
The Tides-funded Ruckus Society has been providing direct-action training to Occupy protesters as well as official training resources, including manuals, to Occupy training groups. Ruckus, which helped spark the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, was also listed as a “friend and partner” of the Occupy Days of Action in October.
Another grantee of Tides, MoveOn.org, has joined Occupy.
Obama finance chief funded Media Matters
Obama served eight years on the board of a charity that is a top donor to Media Matters.
Obama is also tied to numerous other top Media Matters donors and fundraisers, including a foundation run by the finance chairman of his 2008 presidential campaign, Penny Pritzker, WND has learned.
Two weeks ago, the Daily Caller released a list of grants to Media Matters.
A WND review of the donor list found a number of deep ties to Obama.
The Media Matters donor list included the Pritzker Family Foundation, which donated a total of $400,000 to the progressive attack group in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The Pritzker family is best known for owning the Hyatt hotel chain and is considered to be one of America’s wealthiest families.
The family foundation is directed by Penny Pritzker, who served as the national finance chairman of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Penny Pritzker is currently a member of the Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which formulates and evaluates economic policy for the Obama administration.
Another top donor to Media Matters, according to the released donor list, is the Joyce Foundation. Obama served on the Joyce Foundation board from 1994 to 2002.
Joyce gave a $400,000 grant to Media Matters in 2010, purportedly to “support a gun and public safety issue initiative.”
While Obama was on the Joyce Foundation board, the organization granted tens of millions of dollars to gun control organizations. Also, numerous large grants were provided to a group called Leadership for Quality Education, which was run by John Ayers, the brother of Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
Also while Obama was at Joyce, the foundation gave numerous grants to the Small Schools workshop at the University of Chicago, which was founded by Bill Ayers and is run by avowed communist activist Mike Klonsky, who served with Ayers in the radical Students for a Democratic Society group.
Another key funding tie for Media Matters is the Center for American Progress, led by John Podesta, who directed Obama’s White House transition team.
Media Matters reportedly entered into a fundraising-sharing agreement with the Center for American Progress, or CAP.
CAP’s extensive reports and research reportedly help to inform Obama administration policy.
A Time magazine article profiles the influence of Podesta’s Center for American Progress in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”
CAP has received large grants from the Tides Foundation, which, according to the published donor list, is the single largest donor to Media Matters, with over $4 million in donations to the progressive media attack group.